- About Gyeongsangbuk-do > Geography > Dokdo Story
The address of Dokdo is 1-96 Dokdo-ri Ulleung-eup, Ulleung-gun, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea. It is 87.4 km southeast of Ulleungdo and can be seen from the peak of Ulleungdo on a clear day.
It was created by a volcanic eruption about 4.6 million years ago. It is 187.453㎡ big and has two major islands, Dongdo and Seodo, and 89 rocky islands and reefs.
Dokdo, designated as Natural Monument No. 336 (Dokdo Natural Protection Zone), preserves about 286 species of natural resources (plants, birds, and insects) and about 331 species of fisheries resources (fish, seaweeds, etc.).
Economic Value of Dokdo
It is assumed that a large amount of natural gas is buried in the seas near Dokdo, and the open seas of Dokdo are the best fishing grounds in East Sea, rich in squids, pollack, pacific saury, trout, salmon, cod, and many other seafoods.
Dokdo is the Korean territory that has been managed by South Korea for generations.
Dokdo has been a part of the Korean territory since General Yi Sabu was sent to conquer Usanguk (Ulleungdo) in the Silla Empire. Later, [Sejong Shillok] Jiriji (1454) mentioned Mureungdo (Ulleungdo), Usando (Dokdo), and many other books, including [Goryeosa] Jiriji (1451), [Sinjeung Donggukyeojiseungram] (1530), and [Dongguk Munheonbigo] (1770), which also mentioned Usando, the old name of Dokdo. This shows that Dokdo was considered a part of the Korean territory. In the 1900s, Dokdo became a part of the Japanese territory by force when Japan took over Korea with its imperial rule. Dokdo was obviously returned to Korea at the liberation, but the Japanese government still insists that Dokdo is part of the Japanese territory, which has given rise to an international dispute. Dokdo is not a mere island but symbolizes the history and independence of Korea. We must exert efforts to learn the history of Dokdo, and to protect it. Dokdo is part of the Korean territory, particularly of Gyeongsangbuk-do!
Basic Understanding of Dokdo during the Edo and Meiji Dynasties of Japan
As a result of the negotiations between Joseon and Japan that were triggered by the abduction of Ahn, Yong Bok in Japan during the reign of King Sukjong (1693), the Japanese government concluded the Dokdo issue by prohibiting its people from sailing to Ulleungdo (1696). Entering the Meiji dynasty, the Department of Home Affairs of Korea requested the highest national government office of Japan to announce that Jukdo and Ildo were not related to Japan for the cadastral publication of Shimane Prefection (1877). This means that Ulleungdo and Dokdo are not related to Japan. These historical events clearly prove that Japan did not think of Dokdo as its territory in the past.
Reconfirmation of Korea's ownership of Dokdo after World War II
When World War II ended in 1945, the Cairo Declaration (1943) was issued. It stated that “Japan must be driven out of all the regions it [had] conquered by violence and greed,” and Dokdo was returned to Korea. Moreover, Dokdo was excluded from the boundary of Japan's rule and administration under SCAPIN No. 677, during the rule of the Alliance, and the Treaty of San Francisco (1951) reconfirmed this. Since then, Korea has been occupying Dokdo. Based on this fact, Korea has never lost ownership of Dokdo, as established historically, geographically, and by international law.
Located at the southeastern part of Dokdo, Dongdo is home to a lighthouse and most maritime and fisheries facilities. It is 98.6 m above sea level and 73,297 ㎡ big, and its longer part measures about 450 m from north to northeast, with a grade of about 60º. Its central part has a vertical circular hole that extends downward, until the surface of the seawater.
Located at the northwestern part of Dokdo, Seodo is 168 m above sea level, 2.6 km in circumference, and 88,740 ㎡ big. Its longer part is about 450 m from north to south, and its shorter part is about 300 m from east to west. The peak of Seodo forms a steep cone, and its major facilities include a lodge for fishermen.
To learn more about Dokdo, please visit Cyber Dokdo at Gyeongsangbuk-do’s website (http://www.dokdo.go.kr).
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